The Albany County Board of Commissioners voted for Pete Gosar as its new chairman and welcomed Sue Ibarra as its newest member during a meeting Tuesday morning.

Ibarra defeated outgoing chair Terri Jones by about 60 votes in the November general election and joins Gosar for a two-to-one Democratic Party majority on the commission.

Gosar welcomed Ibarra to the commission and thanked Jones for her service.

“I know she cares deeply for the community,” he said.

In one of their first votes together, Gosar and Ibarra appointed Bern Hinckley to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which oversees land-use planning and permitting in the county. David Cunningham resigned from the five-member board last fall.

“I like the idea of a scientist on there,” Ibarra said.

Hinckley is a hydrogeologist with an interest in the Casper Aquifer Formation who has been a longtime outspoken supporter of Casper Aquifer protections. He opposed the recent Rocky Ridge Subdivision application, which was approved by the commission in December.

The commission also divvied up representation on various boards and commissions. Some require a voting member from the commission, while others need a commission member as a liaison only. Some were originated via state statute, and some exist in cooperation with other governmental entities such as the city of Laramie, town of Rock River, Albany County School District and Albany County Hospital District.

The newest board, Pilot Hill Inc., was created last year, while boards such as the Laramie Regional Airport Board have existed for more than 50 years.

Gosar will serve with the Albany County Historic Preservation Board, Albany County Mental Health Board, Albany County Recreation Board, City/County Environmental Advisory Committee, Laramie Regional Airport Board and Albany County Government Relations Ad-Hoc Committee.

Heber Richardson will work with the Albany County Fair Board, Albany County Planning and Zoning Commission, Albany County Tourism Board, Albany County Weed and Pest Board, Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Urban Systems Advisory Commission and Health Insurance Management Team.

Ibarra will work with the Albany County Juvenile Services Board Steering Committee, Albany County Public Library Trustee Board, Local Emergency Planning Committee, Laramie County Community College Advisory Board, Laramie Public Arts Commission, Prevention Coalition and Pilot Hill Inc.

The commission re-appointed David Whitman and Alan Reed to the Albany County Weed and Pest Board, which works to eradicate invasive species in the county.

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